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South Sudan’s students are frustrated with their education

RUMBEK - Good education for South Sudan’s youngest is crucial to built a sustainable nation. Yet, the provision of this basic service is a challenging task for the Government of South Sudan (GOSS).

The Head Master of Rumbek National Secondary School, Abel Manyuon Jok, in his office (12.04.2012).
© Benjamin Majok Mon

Mary Alor Lueth, a science student at Rumbek National Secondary School, dreams to study medicine. “My dream will not come true, because science subjects are not well taught in the school,” she says and reasons that “chemistry, physics and maths are not well taught”, as no qualified science teachers are available.

“We are really frustrated.”
Gum Amuom Mathiang
“Our teachers had only covered a quarter of the book while three quarters remain not covered,” another student from Rumbek Secondary, Gum Amuom Mathiang, complains. The exams however are based on all content supposedly covered, “so we are really frustrated”.

The president of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, promoted the secondary school in Rumbek to a national school in 2007. However, the school does not meet the requirements to be a national school and pupils are disappointed about the teaching standard.

The Head Master of Rumbek National Secondary School, Abel Manyuon Jok, complains that the "education (in South Sudan) is producing more graduates from universities and secondary schools without knowledge, because of the poor academic standard in the country”.

“There are no qualified and trained teachers.”
Abel Manyuon Jok
According to Jok, the lack of teachers is the main cause which limits the learning in South Sudan’s education institutions. The population is large, “but there are no qualified and trained teachers”. The government should built the capacity of the current teachers and “increase their pay for effective teaching to take place”.

The head master adds that the majority of his school’s teaching staff in Rumbek have at best completed secondary school with no professional teaching training.

GOSS Ministry of General Education and InstructionAccording to the GOSS Ministry of General Education and Instruction website, teacher training is one of its core programmes, but in the case of Rumbek Secondary this has little positive effect.

Jok stresses that the national Ministry of General Education and Instruction should embark on reforming the education system in the country. This reform should provide “education that will focus on producing qualified and skilled personnel to participate in the development of their nation,” Jok suggests.

“Rumbek National Secondary School as a national institution lacks clear policies in curriculum implementation, academic calendar and teacher hiring and appointment,” the head master says.

Jok urges the Ministry of General Education and Instruction to come up with a clear policy for the recruitment of teachers. “Our teachers will desert schools to search for better job opportunities, if they are not promoted,” he added, a choice South Sudan’s frustrated students do not have.

The views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of the publishers of

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